A surplus of cherry tomatoes on hand and a craze for Italian food is what gives you this yummy Braciole di Pollo or Chicken Roulade or better yet, stuffed chicken breast. You all are aware of my love for all flavours Italiano and how I try to make all that delicious food in my kitchen. I enjoy every bit of it I must say!
I made this Braciole di Pollo for the first time and it was so full of flavour, I just had to stop after my first bite, had to run to the other room where mum was sitting and practically begged her to have a bite. She had just had her lunch and wasn't in the mood to have something more.
Nevertheless, she obliged me by taking one teeny tiny bite. I tried to make it a perfect one, loading all the ingredients onto the fork as evenly as possible in perfect percentages. And lo behold! She loved it. She didn't just have the bite, but she ended up eating two whole pieces of the dish! How our parents indulge us and accommodate our desires. Love you Ma-Papa.
So I just got a little emotional. Happens to the best of us when we think of how much our parents love us. But back to the Italian world and on to the recipe.
Makes: 12 pieces, serves 3-4
Time: 30 mins
2 Chicken breasts, pounded 1/2" thin
1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
1/2 onion, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
20-25 Basil leaves
handful pine nuts
Shredded Mozzarella (use the cheese you prefer)
2 tbsp butter, divided into 3 parts
Salt and pepper to taste
Have everything ready before you start. You don't need a lot of speed in this recipe, but I prefer working with all the ingredients out and ready. This way you don't forget anything if the recipe asks for too many ingredients.
Heat some butter in a pan, preferably flat bottomed. Add the thinly sliced garlic to infuse the flavour of garlic in the butter.
The fragrance of garlic sauteing in butter- Heaven. You know its the beginning of something really good.
After the garlic turns golden in colour, not brown but golden. Did I mention the garlic has to be golden? To the golden garlic add halved tomatoes and chopped onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add chili flakes if you want it spicy. Keep the flame on medium so the tomatoes begin to break a little and the onions caramelize. Yummmmmmy
Meanwhile pound the chicken breasts till they are about 1/2" thick or even a little thinner. Mine were a little uneven. No need to alert the authorities.
The tomatoes should be ready by now. They should have blistered and broken a little and the onions should be slightly brown in colour (alright mine weren't exactly brown, some were charred a little. Lesson learnt. Don't take your eyes off the stove even for a minute!). The tomatoes are done. Take them off the stove.
Lay a bed of hand torn basil leaves on the pounded chicken breast and scatter some pine nuts on there.
Next layer with the yummy tomatoes. Add the shredded cheese on top.
This is not pictured. But roll the chicken breast lengthwise as super chef-ily that you can. Make a complete round with all the deliciousness wrapped inside. Seal with toothpicks or kitchen string. Rub a little butter on the outside of the chicken roulade and coat it with bread crumbs. This makes it so crispy on the outside.
Heat the rest of the butter in the same pan in which you made the tomatoes. It will have all that yummy garlicky flavour. You can season the chicken with a little salt if you want. Place the roulade into the pan for about 3-4 minutes each side till all the sides are crispy brown.
Take it off the flame and cut into 1" round slices or about 6 slices per chicken breast.
The tomatoes rushing to peek outside, the aroma of the basil, the toastiness of the pine nuts, the crispiness of the crust, the succulent chicken and the melted cheese....all of them calling out to you.... deliciousness!
Add a few extra blistered garlicky cherry tomatoes if you please. Sprinkle your pinch of love and some shredded parmesan and Indulge!! :)